#410 – Dick Bernard: 2 days to Default. A tentative agreement.

As of Sunday evening, a tentative agreement has been reached to resolve the stalemate in Washington. Ordinarily, such announcements are not made without a high degree of certainty that all parties will agree to the terms agreed to. Soon we shall see. There are plenty of loose cannons who need to ratify the results, first.
There are two safe predictions, regardless of whether or not the compromise actually passes and averts a shutdown:
1. The Principals to the deal will all say they wanted more of whatever they wanted.
2. The Spectators who actually comment on the deal from the outside will say it’s a rotten deal for certain specific reasons, and that their particular target should have done more, or less, or nothing at all.
While difficult to imagine the rationale they’ll use, some will declare victory over the evil-other….
Included in one of the endless pieces of e-mail in my inbox when we returned from vacation on Saturday was this most interesting information link about “government spending”. This is a particularly relevant document for this time in our national and state history. (If you’re just skimming things, it’s simply a list of 102 common things on which government spends money.)
A week or so before I saw the preceding item, someone my age, who has thus been long enrolled on Medicare and most likely on Social Security as well, sent me one of those ubiquitous pieces of anti-Obama hate mail circulating on the internet. This particular one purportedly quoted that renowned expert on “Obamacare”, Donald Trump, and, whether true or not, related the litany of the anti-government anti-Obama crowd against universal health care for everyone.
I wrote the gentleman back, saying as follows: “Before I saw this one, I was thinking: why don’t all complainers about government make an estimate of how much government could be gotten rid of, say, 10%, 90%, all of it…. First you pick the number. Then, if you’re serious, make a list of EVERYTHING that comes to you as a government benefit – like a freeway – and decide which one of those benefits you’ll get rid of. Rather than taking away somebody elses benefit, take away your own, first.
He hasn’t responded, unless a response is considered to be his forwards, without comment, of several more pieces of anti-Obama hate-mail churned out by the anti-Obama assembly line.
One of these forwards was a cartoon I’ve seen before, which has a bunch of sinister looking vulture-like birds sitting on a pyramid like perch, each level befouling the one below. It was labelled “The Political Flowchart
At the top was the President of the United States (of course);
next rung down a few labelled “Democrats” and “Republicans”;
then a few more, still lower, labelled “State Politicians”;
then on the last and lowest and most befouled perch the “American People”, the purported victims of government.
The narration continued: “When top level guys look down, they see only shitheads. When bottom level guys look up they see only assholes.”
Crude, but cute.
I wrote back:
Perhaps you might consider sending [my response] along to your entire list, as well as the person who sent it to you in the first place.
I would propose that the flow chart be upended, so that the American People are at the top of the chart, etc.
After all, it is the American People who are solely responsible for who they elect, either by voting, or not voting at all. We are not a dictatorship.
Congress, in my opinion, and state legislatures, best reflect either our wisdom or stupidity in voting. Deal with your state legislators and the Congressperson from your district. How wonderful are they?
President Obama is doing an outstanding job in an impossible environment, especially with ‘crap’ like this which flows incessantly, and speaks profoundly about the people who choose to pass it along and thus apparently believe it.

“We the people” authored this disastrous mess in which we find ourselves. It has taken years to reach this point.
Regardless of point of view, it’s time to go to work and become leaders to built a society we can be proud of.

And read “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Klein.

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